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Life is unpredictable for the most part. Some of you may agree that just as you are expecting something positively life-changing to happen, the exact opposite is what you get instead. You know how disappointing that can be. Look at covid19, for instance. Also, life has a way of throwing stones at you even when you are already on the ground and trying to get back up, at least, to a sitting position before you can stand up.
For me, in February 2020, just before this current worldwide crisis started to affect Jamaica, I was all set to go and collect my degree certificate from UWI and start sending out applications for adult teaching or training jobs. I had not been working for many months before that, so you can imagine how devastated I was. I was also disappointed because I was just about to use the next money I would get and take out the tired-looking braids that I had in and treat myself to a nice hairdo.
I am sure though, that some of you are saying that my disappointments are nothing compared to yours or some people you know or hear about. But let me say this, everyone is different; each person’s emotional intelligence, personality, what they value, or what they believe to be important to them will determine how they respond to any situation. So be careful not to downplay how someone else is feeling just because it is not what you believe their reaction should be.
Whatever the situation you are faced with – yes, even in this season of quarantine, lockdowns, and curfews, it is important to practice resilience. Here are a few reasons why:
The first one is that your true character comes to the surface during uncertainty in any business or personal situation. How many of you are finding this to be true? Let me try to give you a clearer picture. Have you noticed how you or some people you thought were nice and kind and considerate, were fighting for food items, rushing to buy hand sanitizers, food, and tissues to hoard them out of fear, and give no thought or consideration to others who don’t have money to buy right away and will have to contend with empty shelves? On the other hand, many persons are realizing that, contrary to popular beliefs, they are indeed considerate because they are sharing the little that they have with persons who are worse off than them. So we see in those two instances how true characters came to light. You can probably think of other ways true characters are being revealed in this pandemic.
The second point is, when you decide to stand tall and be resilient, you will not only be helping yourself to find new solutions to your problems, but you will also be helping others around you by inspiring them with your courage. This is especially important for those who have children in their household. You have to be careful around them because you don’t want to add fear to their stress of not being able to do outdoor recreational activities and being bored and frustrated with school work. It has been proven that fear and/or anxiety can be taught to children, especially, but even adults can learn fear. And fear never amounts to anything good so it is important to show resilience even in a time like this. Let the people around you know that whatever the situation, it has an expiry date and you will survive it, so there is no need to panic. This will also prepare the children for future situations. Hopefully, they will know how to react and act when they come upon situations of a similar nature. Basically, resilience eliminates or minimizes stress and allows rational thoughts to prevail, which will make it easier to find solutions.
A captain of any ship or pilot of any aircraft is not celebrated for sailing through gentle waters on a sunny day. He is famous for remaining afloat and keeping passengers safe after surviving a storm. What this means is that at the end of this crisis, and any other one, none of us will be remembered for or even remember how smooth it was for us during this crisis, but how we consciously decided to survive the storm. This is because valuable lessons are most times learned during difficult and uncertain times.
Don’t fret. Worry is not a requirement for solving problems. Stand tall; be resilient for yourself and others, because your lives depend on it.